Good news for all of us

egmontSomething extraordinary is happening next month, and I, for one, am positively giddy with anticipation. In these often grim days of publishers cutting back, strapping down, paring away, or closing their doors completely, a major new publisher is boldly doing the opposite. Making its debut in September is Egmont USA. It’s a brave and brilliant thing they’re doing, bucking economic trends to create a vital new publishing house in the US; but if you read about their parent company, Egmont, you’ll see that this is not by accident: They’ve been doing brave and brilliant publishing all around the world for ages. They’re only new in this country.

The US branch is steered by Douglas Pocock, who immediately brought on Elizabeth Law as publisher. Elizabeth is one of the warmest and most knowledgable people in children’s publishing (seriously; her team kicked my team’s ass in a CBC trivia game a few years back), and understands not just the history of the field but also how to publish all manner of books. She brings to the table a passionate belief in the good that a great book can do in the world, and the people she’s hired to work with her at Egmont are like her in that respect: They all share that passion and large-hearted love of kid’s books. On the editorial side there is the wonderful Regina Griffin and sharp up-and-comer Greg Ferguson (who I worked with at Harper), as well as many consulting editors who are among the best in the business (among them the awesomely talented Ruth Katcher, who edited a whole slew of bestsellers and award-winners for Harper Collins in the past few years). And driving the marketing efforts is one of my very favorite people in the industry, Mary Albi, who has a tireless genius for getting books into the right hands. (Full disclosure: She was the marketing director for my team at Harper, and it is thanks to her that many of our books hit the bestseller lists.)

I have read only one book of the fifteen on Egmont’s debut list, the superb and disturbing Candor, about the too-perfect teens in a creepy town a lot of like Celebration, Florida. (There’s a fab fake website for the town here.) But the rest of the list looks as good as that novel or better: They’ve got Walter Dean Myers, Todd Strasser, and a host of exciting rookie authors. I can’t wait to get my hands on these novels and see what Elizabeth and co. have been up to.

It’s an exciting time when a new publisher debuts, and we should all give them our attention and support. They’re doing good things.

  1. As both a reader and writer this is very exciting and promising news. Thank you for sharing! It’s always nice to hear good news in a time when there seems to be so much negativity. Good way to start the day.


  2. Thank you for sharing this exciting news. All of the reports of publishing houses and literary agencies closing have been very disheartening. It’s wonderful to hear some good news.


  3. I got a few ARCs from Egmont, and so far, I’ve enjoyed all of them! Alex Bracken’s fantasy (BRIGHTLY WOVEN) is quite good, and of course, Todd Strasser’s is nicely creepy. I also have CANDOR, though I haven’t gotten to it yet. I think Egmont is making a strong name for itself already!


  4. This is GREAT news. A new publisher is just what us aspiring writers want to hear about. Gives us hope for the future.

    And Egmont puts out some awesome books. Thanks for sharing the news!


  5. Huzzah! Good news indeed. It sounds like they’ve built an amazing team. Go Egmont!


  6. That is such exciting news to hear!

    Also, so true about Celebration, Florida. I spent a few days there one December. Since it doesn’t snow in Florida, they had a snow machine that was actually soap bubbles/lather. It was picture perfect but stung the eyes.


  7. Regina Griffin was part of the SCBWI Fall Philly conference faculty in 2008 and despite being ill, sent in all her critiques and was generally acknowledged by those lucky enough to get critiques from her as an all-round good sport as well as a sharp editor.

    I missed having the opportunity to meet her in person — but have been avidly following the fortunes of Egmont USA ever since. I’m *very* excited to read some of their new books, particularly Candle Man and Violet Wings (cf, my personal weakness for alternative fairy stories). But the fun-fake website for Candor is brilliant and does really make me want to read the book.


  8. Can’t wait to read Candor. I’ve lived here in Celebration for 11 years now. Not only do we have snoap (Mr. Bubble snow) during the winter, we also get to enjoy a biodegradable paper leaf drop one weekend each fall. Yep, it’s a real quirky little place, but I’d never live anywhere else.

    If only we really could program the minds of our darling town teens, then maybe we’d no longer have to refer to them as Celebrats.


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